Stories about Religion from January, 2011
Banished Egyptian cleric Yusuf Al Qaradawi described Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak as “blind, deaf and dumb,” lending his influential backing to protesters calling for a change in the regime for the fifth day in a row.
Mark notes that homosexuality in Uganda is not a European import: “The irony is that homosexuality existed here long before Europeans had ever set foot on the African continent and it is, in fact, Christianity, a true European import, that has demonized homosexuals.”
Thousands of supporters of disposed Sunni Prime Minister Saad Al Hariri took to the streets in a 'day of rage' on Tuesday to protest the fall of their leader. The worst of the scenes were in the predominantly Sunni city of Tripoli, where protestors burnt tyres, vehicles, offices, and attacked the media. Bloggers of all political persuasions expressed dismay at the violent behaviour and openly sectarian nature of the protests.
On January 24th, Bishop Samuel Ruiz Garcia passed away at the age of 86. He was known for his work as an advocate of the rights of the indigenous Mayan people in the state of Chiapas.
Bhumika Ghimire moderated a panel discussion on case discrimination and Nepali women where Dr. Drona Rasali and Ms. Sushma Barakoti, two influential members of Nepali diaspora, were present. You can listen to the discussion in her blog Bhumika's American Adventure.
“Pakistan’s quasi-democracy might be the nation’s last chance, before a tide of part real, and part manufactured extremism engulfs the country,” opines Raza Rumi.
Bishop Samuel Ruiz passed away this morning. Tim Johnson explains: “Ruiz […] started the Fray Bartolome de las Casas Human Rights Center out of his diocese, and played an instrumental role in keeping the Zapatista uprising that erupted in 1994 from flaring into broader violence. Ruiz’s work on behalf of...
Veena Malik, an aspiring Pakistani celebrity, was accused by religious hardliners of immoral behavior as she took part in the Indian reality show Big Boss. Reactions on this controversy show that Pakistan now stands divided amongst its conservative and liberal forces.
The Hindu festival of Thaipusam, a public holiday in Malaysia, was celebrated as devotees thronged the famous Batu Caves to fulfil their vows. This year's event became controversial after activists were arrested for protesting the inclusion of a "racist" novel in schools. The book depicts the Indians as the "pariah caste"
Unzipped comments on news that the spiritual leader of Armenia, Catholicos Garegin II, has undergone medical treatment in the U.S. However, the blog concludes, traveling abroad for a simple procedure might seem more like a damning indictment of the Armenian medical system.
The feast of the Divine Shepherdess is celebrated every January 14 in Venezuela. Bloggers recalled and shared the origins and history of this Catholic tradition, while on Twitter and Facebook users shared photos and blessings. The political discussion that is present in the daily life of Venezuelans was also part of this year's celebration.
Hassan Ziyau complains that a full proof plan to combat religious terrorism has been absent during the tenure of successive governments in Maldives.
Following up discussions over why China sees so many acts of self-immolation but none of the response seen in Tunisia, Stainless Steel Mouse notes [zh] that ten years have passed since five Falun Gong protesters led a deadly protest in Tiananmen Square: ‘it didn't lead to a Falun Gong uprising,...
J Rahman at Mukti opines that the new education policy of Bangladesh, which seeks to modernize the country’s madrassahs, can one day create a secular state in Bangladesh.
The death of Punjab Governor Salman Taseer has brought to the forefront a clear distinction, on one hand are those who endorse the assassination and glorify the assassin and on the other hand those that consider his death a setback and a national loss.
Shahzad Ahmed reports in a tweet that Pakistan's Interior Minister Rehman Malik has called for the “Nation” to report anti-Islam or blasphemous contents to him, so these can be blocked within 24 hours.
“Trust the Republican machinery to make you start feeling nostalgic for Dubya”: B.C. Pires blogs about She-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named.
Sana Saleem proposes a public discourse between the activists and clerics to resolve the current crisis in Pakistan with a mutual consensus.
Sakamoto reflects [pt] on the news by Folha de São Paulo about Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff's withdrawal of a bible and a crucifix from her office: “State must ensure that all religions are free to exercise their worship”. The news was biased , as Cris Rodrigues explains [pt] in #dilmafactsbyfolha.
Laritza's Laws blogs about the fallout from Decree 217/97, “a rule that turns a Cuban into an illegal in his own country.”